Island life: laying the foundations for a fossil-free future

The award-winning EU-funded TILOS project is tackling the sustainable energy challenges facing Mediterranean islands with practical solutions for storing, sharing and better managing power generated locally from the wind and sun.

Countries
Countries
  Algeria
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Bangladesh
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Bolivia
  Bosnia and Herzegovina
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cambodia
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Cape Verde
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Costa Rica
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czechia
  Denmark
  Ecuador
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Faroe Islands
  Finland
  France
  French Polynesia
  Georgia

Countries
Countries
  Algeria
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Bangladesh
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Bolivia
  Bosnia and Herzegovina
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cambodia
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Cape Verde
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Costa Rica
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czechia
  Denmark
  Ecuador
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Faroe Islands
  Finland
  France
  French Polynesia
  Georgia


 

Published: 4 June 2018  
Related theme(s) and subtheme(s)
EnergyFossil fuels  |  Reliability of supply  |  Renewable energy sources
EnvironmentClimate & global change
Industrial research
Research policyHorizon 2020
SMEs
Countries involved in the project described in the article
France  |  Germany  |  Greece  |  Italy  |  Spain  |  Sweden  |  United Kingdom
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Island life: laying the foundations for a fossil-free future

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© pink candy #93709263, 2018. Source: fotolia.com

With the EU’s clean energy, low-carbon goals and the specific needs of isolated communities in mind, the EU-funded TILOS project set out to make the Greek island of Tilos the first in the Mediterranean to be powered solely by renewable energy. This required more robust technology to store and distribute the power effectively over time and distance.

The key part of the project was to develop battery technology and its management system to store excess energy produced, so that the island could become energy self-sufficient and sell excess power to its neighbours. Wind turbine and solar panels were installed on Tilos island outside of the project’s budget.

While the main goal was to develop local, small-scale battery storage and microgrid facilities for private, business and public needs, the project had in mind the bigger picture of renewable energy, including societal, technical, commercial and domestic aspects, too.

With the focus on small-island needs, the project targeted real problems, such as how to secure year-round energy supplies from wind and solar renewable sources, and how to develop advanced electricity storage and distribution facilities for local and central needs.

The battery system being tested must support both standalone and grid-connected operations, while proving its interoperability with other microgrid components. These include demand-side energy management and smart metering tools, as well as distributed residential heat-storage and hot-water systems.

The project is now building an extended microgrid simulator to analyse battery technologies and microgrid configurations: standalone, grid-connected and power market-dependent systems. Other islands are watching TILOS closely, the aim being to create an ‘island platform’ to help transfer the technologies and inspire wider use.

In 2017, TILOS was named the best energy island project and the citizens’ choice at the EU Sustainable Energy Awards. The prizes recognise outstanding innovation in energy efficiency and renewables.

The story of the tiny Dodecanese island, known as the ‘green island’ for its efforts to protect biodiversity, has attracted international attention. An article in The Guardian, a leading British newspaper, heralds its efforts, and those of the project, to deliver a solution to Tilos’ energy needs, and potentially those of other Mediterranean islands and beyond.

Project details

  • Project acronym: TILOS
  • Participants: Greece (Coordinator), Italy, France, United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, Sweden
  • Project N°: 646529
  • Total costs: € 13 738 569
  • EU contribution: € 11 008 622
  • Duration: February 2015 to January 2019

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